Friday, May 30, 2014

A fatal stain by Elise Hyatt

A fatal stain is the sequel to Dipped, stripped and dead and French polished murder so this review contains some ***SPOILERS*** about what happens in the first and second books. While the books can be read independently, if you like to read a series in order then stop now and read the first two books in the series.

Dyce has managed to stumble across another amazing furniture find, a gorgeous table that she picked up at a perpetual garage sale.  Dyce hoped she could strip off the badly applied finish on the table and maybe end up with a nice simple pine table, but what she gets instead is an expensive table that has been badly finished to make it look like a cheaper wood.  Oh, and did I mention the blood stain that was hidden under the layers of stain?  The blood stain creates something of a quandary because Dyce is about to marry a detective and it would be a little frowned upon if she chose to destroy the evidence of a crime being committed - even though there appears to be no evidence an actual crime was committed.

With a somewhat typical disregard for her own safety Dyce decides to do a little investigating of her own before she mentions the table and the blood stains to her fiancé.  It doesn't seem like such a bad idea, but you would think by now that Dyce would have learned to leave the investigating to the experts, especially when she gets a visit from one of the potential "suspects" telling her to back off.  Walking a fine line is never easy, especially when you are walking the fine line juggling wedding plans, your best friends relationship problems, and a child who has an invisible llama as a friend.  One thing you can say for Dyce is her life is never boring, and it is going to get very interesting (read deadly) if she can't figure out what happened and whodunit before they decide to shut her up - permanently.

The daring finds mysteries are fun, laugh out loud funny, and have some seriously tricky murder mysteries to solve - an addictive series that is just begging for another instalment.  Dyce is down to Earth, attracts more than her fair share of bad luck, and is fiercely independent and determined to make it on her own terms.  Her best friend is not what you would expect but he perfectly balances Dyce's neuroses with a few of his own (including an apparent obsession with colour coordination), and his relationships also add to the fun. 

In this latest instalment in the series it seems as though things are going smoothly, with the impending nuptials, but we should all have learned by now that nothing is plain sailing for Dyce and the people in her life.  Because of the introduction of Cas and Nick the cast of A fatal stain is bigger than the previous books, but that allows for a greater depth in terms of the character interactions but also allows for so many more misunderstandings and laugh out loud moments - and then of course there is E and Peesgrass.  I love this series and had to wait patiently with each book for my mother to read them first and it says something that a woman in her 60's and a younger person like myself can enjoy the same series. 

Sadly it does feel like this may be the last book in the series, or at least the end of the  current way the series is written because of the relationship with Cas and the changes that happen (I won't spoil what happens for you) because of that relationship.  Hopefully Hyatt can find the time and inclination to write more in the series, after checking into the author behind the pen name I can see she is a very busy author with her fingers in many different genre pies so hopefully she can either find a way to bring us more Dyce stories - or at least create a new series that has the same blend of murder mystery, drama, romance, and humour. 

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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